The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Gilbert Valentine
Nick Name:
Bert, Gil or 'Boong'
Regimental #:
‘D’ Company, No 14 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Gilbert Carlisle Hadden
Mothers's Name:
Florence Hadden (Hunt)
Pre-war Occupation:
Miner and Prospector
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II, Chungkai, Ubon
3/7979 and 8789
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade

General Description

Born Kalgoorlie in 1910 Hadden enlisted for AIF at Leonora 1 Aug 1940 where he was prospecting and later joined 2/4th’s ‘D’ Coy 14 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt Tomkins. Please read about ‘D’ Company
He left Singapore by train to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with D’  Force S Battalion in the Hellfire Pass Cutting area.
Gilbert Hadden was hospitalised sick at Chungkai following evacuation from railway.  (reason not recorded).  He was recovered from Thailand at war’s end.



Below:   his parents marriage 1900 Kalgoorlie.


Gilbert Hadden (Snr) and his wife Florence Campling Hunt married 1900 Kalgoorlie.  Gilbert (Snr) and several of his brothers, and at least two nephews moved to the Goldfields from Victoria.
The brothers were Robert, Gilbert, Oliver (died Newdegate 1931) and Arthur who were in Kalgoorlie in early 1900s and Andrew in Victoria.
Gilbert Hadden (Snr) was mine manager at several mines and was sometime in partnership with his brother Robert.
Gilbert Valentine Hadden was one of 7 children and one of two sons born to Gilbert and Florence Hadden.  Bert’s brother was known as ‘Bunny’.



WX9139 Lloyd Foster Hadden is first cousin to Bert.  Their Father’s Oliver Foster Hadden and Gilbert Carlisle Hadden are brothers. Lloyd was born Kalgoorlie 1916 (8 years after Bert) and his parents moved to Newdegate. Oliver Hadden married 1907 Johannesburg, South Africa to Lily Emma Troubridge. 
Oliver Hadden died 13 November 1931 at Newdegate aged 55 years, and is buried at Wagin.

Lloyd enlisted 30 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th ‘B’ Company 8 Platoon under CO Lt MacKinnon as a Driver.
From Singapore Lloyd worked on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand Captain Fred Harris Party.
He survived and was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.
Below:  Arthur Hadden 1908

Arthur died November 1931 at Kalgoorlie he was father to four children.

Below:  Bert’s uncle and his father’s business partner at one time and brother Robert Hadden died in 1914.

Their partnership was resolved 1913.

Hadden, Robert uncle of Gilbert



Below:  one of Robert Hadden’s sons.

Below:  Florence Hadden


Bert’s mother Florence died in 1923 at Kalgoorlie and was buried there and Gilbert Hadden (Snr) died in 1927 in Perth.


Below:  Father of Florence and Grandfather Hunt to Bert Hadden died 1924.

Below:  We assume this is Bert Gilbert’s father below, or it was Bert aged about 15 years or one of his many cousins – there seemed to be so many.

Above:  Bert’s father Gilbert Carlisle Hadden died  in 1927.


‘Bert’ Hadden had spent his life outdoors mining and prospecting in the Goldfields and soon acquired the nickname of ‘Boong’ Hadden when he joined  2/4th. His dark complexion was maintained as a working POW in Singapore and Thailand!
(It was Hadden’s nickname which mistakenly led to his name being included in the list of indigenous soldiers of WA –  ‘Once Warriors‘ by Janice James of Northam.
It was during a 2/4th Committee Meeting when Dick Ridgwell suddenly mentioned Hadden’s nickname was ‘Boong’ because he was so darkly tanned from his prospecting years that we were able to resolve the story and the mistake.
At about that time, I was fortunate to make contact with one of Hadden’s granddaughters who had just had her DNA done – she had no indigenous DNA.
I visited Jan James at her Northam home, she died 2021.  I informed her Hadden was not indigenous, however at that time in her life she had no plans to reprint the book ‘Once Warriors’.  Unfortunately Hadden’s name cannot be removed.  Cheryl Mellor, Historian and Researcher)
Bert married about 1933 at Leonora to  Monica Audrey Allen. They had two children. A daughter died soon after birth in 1934.  Although born in Kalgoorlie, Monica’s parents moved from Queensland to WA, her father an engine driver.


Hadden, Gilbert Valentine
Hadden, Gilbert Valentine (Left)
Hadden, Gilbert Valentiune
Hadden, Gilbert Valentine in later life



Bert Hadden returned to Leonora after the war.  He died 19th December, 1970 and was buried there.  He was 61 years old.
The military headstone at the Leonora cemetery with the inscription
Hadden G.V. loved brother of Olive, Alice Jean and Roy“.


Below:  Some examples of Bert’s interest in Footy before and after the war.

Below:  We can’t be certain G Hadden is one and the same as Bert Hadden simply because there were so many Hadden cousins and relatives about.  Bert was one of the team’s trainers.